grande dame


plural grandes dames ˈgrän-ˈdäm(z) How to pronounce grande dame (audio) also grande dames ˈgrän-ˈdäm(z) How to pronounce grande dame (audio)
: a usually elderly woman of great prestige or ability

Examples of grande dame in a Sentence

the city's grandes dames still hold considerable sway in its cultural life
Recent Examples on the Web The oldies often have the best stories to tell, and this German grande dame, with nearly 300 years of history, is up there with the best. Wire Service, The Mercury News, 5 Jan. 2024 The grande dame hotel is still The Newt, with recent additions of the family-friendly Gate Lodge and wondrous Roman Villa. Condé Nast Traveler, 3 Jan. 2024 Karma’s building was the last grande dame standing. Vulture, 29 Dec. 2023 Paley was the grande dame of the group and the wife of CBS founder William S. Paley (Treat Williams). Haley Van Horn, Peoplemag, 31 Jan. 2024 Burrows played a god, one of a capricious little trio of grandes dames, with Mia Katigbak and Annie Golden. Helen Shaw, The New Yorker, 5 Jan. 2024 With its pretty art deco and Mission-style apartments, Condesa is today the grande dame of Mexico City colonias — stylish and elegant, but never trying too hard. Michael Snyder, Travel + Leisure, 27 Nov. 2023 Like most of the grande dame hotels in Istanbul, the building that houses the Shangri-La Bosphorus—conveniently located in the buzzing Beşiktaş neighborhood and within walking distance of the upmarket Nişantaşı shopping district—has a rich and fascinating history. Vogue, 26 Dec. 2023 Hospitality veteran Didier Le Calvez, who opened Four Seasons George V in 1999 and later transformed another Paris grande dame, Le Bristol, has also collaborated with the Scheufeles and admires the family’s approach. Susan D’arcy, Robb Report, 4 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'grande dame.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French, literally, great lady

First Known Use

1775, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of grande dame was in 1775

Dictionary Entries Near grande dame

Cite this Entry

“Grande dame.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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